Anthropologists: Time to Take Action! - Participate and Advocate
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Anthropologists: Time to Take Action!

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July 13, 2019

The new administration has settled in and is now considering a number of proposals that are of concern to the field of anthropology. Now is the time for us to roll up our sleeves and get to work. Anthropologists need to come together to stand strongly against these potentially devastating decisions. 

Here’s how you can get involved:

  1. Advocate for immigrants. The AAA has issued a number of statements calling on the US government to reverse its ill-informed, heavy-handed immigration and refugee policies. Support your fellow human beings by widely disseminating this collection of rights provided to immigrants under the US Constitution. 
  2. Register for advocacy days! Attending an advocacy day event is an excellent opportunity to receive training and lobby your representatives on behalf of social science research and the humanities.

    The Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA) Science Policy Conference and Social Science Advocacy Day will be held April 30- May 1 in Washington, DC. Learn more about COSSA and how to register here.

  3. Stay in the know. AAA members are eligible to attend COSSA's monthly "Headlines" webchats recapping the most important social and behavioral science news from the past month and answering questions from participants. Visit their website for more information and to see the full schedule. 

  4. Oppose changes to National Register Regulations! Proposed changes to the National Register regulations could limit the input of local communities in the listing process while giving more power to large developers. Use this template from the Coalition for American Heritage to send your comments to the National Park Service before April 30.

  5. #RaiseTheCaps. Without Congressional intervention, federal agencies are facing arbitrary across-the-board cuts passed as part of the Budget Control Act, which will set limits on spending for FY 2020 and 2021. Now is the time to write to your Congressional representatives and tell them to prioritize negotiating a budget deal that gives fair treatment to vital non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs—including science and research agencies—which have already borne the brunt of federal spending cuts over the past several years. Visit the Consortium of Social Science Associations' (COSSA) TAKE ACTION page to quickly send a letter to your Senators and Representative to tell them you care about easing the burden on NDD programs and to work to pass a fair budget deal that will strengthen America’s research enterprise.

  6. Join the March for Science. AAA is an official partner organization of the March for Science. Download Building Momentum: Advocacy Resources for Societies here. 

  7. Support UNESCO. The American Anthropological Association, a credentialed observer with UNESCO’s Economic and Social Council non-governmental organization group, remains firmly allied and engaged with the international protocols and conventions it has developed. We stand united with our colleagues, peers and students around the world in support of UNESCO’s mission. Read our full statement. The AAA has also signed on to additional statements of concern regarding the withdrawal of the US from UNESCO with the Society for American Archaeology, the American Cultural Resources Association, and the Society for Historical Archaeology and with a coalition of seven other heritage organizations

  8. Stand up for Puerto Rico. The Puerto Rico syllabus project provides a list of resources for teaching and learning about the current economic crisis in Puerto Rico. The goal is to contribute to the ongoing public dialogue and rising social activism regarding the debt crisis by providing tools with which to assess its roots and its repercussions. Contribute or access the materials here. Additionally, more than 200 academics have signed their names to this statement addressing the current humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico. The Caribbean Primate Research Center (CPRC) is also in need of financial support in the wake of Hurricane Maria. You can learn more and make a donation here

  9. Advocate for others. People from Latin America, Africa, and six Muslim-majority nations have been targeted by the Trump administration for arbitrary detention, increased surveillance, deportation, and immigration bans. Find additional details in our Congressional Action Alert on Immigration. You can also read AAA's statement against the Trump administration's plans to eliminate the DACA program
  10. Stand against racism. In the wake of recent events in Charlottesville, the AAA joined forces with the American Historical Association, the Society for Applied Anthropology, and the American Sociological Association to establish the Understanding Race After Charlottesville initiative to help our members and the public continue moving forward with important conversations on race and convert those conversations to action. The cycle of violence must end.

  11. Advance scientific stewardship. The Consortium of Social Science Associations co-leads the Coalition to Promote Research (CPR), a coalition of national organizations committed to promoting public health, innovation, and fundamental knowledge through scientific research. Their petition: Advancing Principles of Scientific Stewardship reaffirms support for responsible and effective stewardship of the scientific infrastructure and maintaining the quality of our nation’s research enterprise by embracing the fundamental values that have long sustained its development.

  12. Attend Town Hall Meetings. One of the most effective tactics we've seen over the years to influence Members of Congress is attending town hall meetings. Follow the Coalition for American Heritage on Facebook for additional updates. 
  13. Use our resources. In the wake of the 2016 US election, AAA has been gathering a variety of resources to support our members. Access those resources on the AAA blog and add resources that fellow anthropologists might find helpful in the comments. 

  14. Get social. The Congressional Management Foundation found that 80% of Congressional staff pay close attention to their constituents on social media. Find your elected officials, including their social media information, and start following them to learn about their priorities, so you are prepared to make the case. Also be sure to follow AAA on Facebook and Twitter and use #AnthroForward for advocacy updates, tools and resources.

Access all of AAA’s advocacy resources on our website.

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